Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Building a Greener World with PC Virtualisation Tools

'THERE is no obstacle that can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change." US President Barack Obama's inauguration words are a noble call to us all to rise to meet the best in ourselves. But many of us are wondering: "How do I tangibly effect change in my life? Or in my organisation?"

Obama built his campaign on the promise of economic stimulus and aggressive green PC support for green technologies. Recently, he selected alternative energy supporter and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu to head the Department of Energy. He's loading his guns and locking in his economic stimulus package. He's poised to begin executing his gleaming mission.

Are we ready to execute ours?

The realities of the economy are daunting. We have organizational goals to meet, and smaller budgets with which to meet them. Businesses are closing; people are losing jobs and homes. And amid all this, our planet is increasingly evidencing the spectre of radical climate change. The need for change is breathing hot in our faces, yet the challenges we face seem insurmountable.

As Confucius said: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." If so, then what tangible solutions are available that can help us produce change in our organizations now and help us meet our goals while lowering costs and reducing the environmental impact?

The functional area where organizations can most effectively — and immediately — cut costs and produce environmental change is in IT. For example, using powerful, low-cost desktop virtualisation tools, you can reduce your IT maintenance and support costs by up to 80 per cent while also reducing electricity use and electronic waste by up to 90 per cent.

Desktop virtualisation technologies leverage the unused computing power of a single computer, creating an efficient alternative to traditional desktop-per-user computing.

I have evaluated many companies hawking products and the one I've been most impressed with is Userful (userful.com). Putting it plainly, Userful doesn't talk; it just walks. In an age when rampant rhetoric still rules the virtualisation market, those who let their demonstrated commitment to serving their customers and creating organisational change speak the loudest of all.

Userful's PC sharing and virtualisation technology turns one computer into 10; allowing up to 10 users to work on a single computer by simply attaching extra monitors, mice and keyboards. It delivers full PC performance, including full-screen streaming video, for a fraction of the cost of using a PC-per-user solution. Userful also enables users to manage and monitor their desktops through a central administrative website, allowing them to control their desktops from a simple web browser, and generating significant savings in administrative tools.

Because of the radical reduction in electricity and electronic waste, Userful's solutions are eco-friendly. A recent deployment in South Africa — which delivered 2205 virtualised desktops to 105 South African schools using only 315 computers — saves the equivalent of more than 4000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions; the equivalent of taking 700 cars off the road. And with more than 30,000 desktops now in governments, schools, libraries, businesses and military in more than 100 countries, Userful's virtualisation tools are a proven market leader.

Perhaps change begins with a simple intention. And renewal begins when a simple intention becomes a single step, multiplied. With Obama's call to us all to be the change we wish to see — and his commitment to stimulating the economy and supporting green technologies — companies like Userful are well prepared to help organisations that also embrace the call to change.

Source: http://www.businessday.com.au/business/building-a-greener-world-with-pc-virtualisation-tools-20090126-7q1g.html